Digcel Grand Prix: Sydonie McIntosh breaks Class 3 100m record
Sydonie McIntosh of St Mary High reacts after breaking the Girls' Class 3 100-metre record on Tuesday's second day of the Digicel Grand Prix opening meet (Eastern Championships) at the National Stadium. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).
Defending champions St Mary High have made a strong statement in the morning session of Day 2 of the Eastern Championships at the National Stadium by scoring heavily in the 100-metre events, one of the 10 Digicel Grand Prix disciplines.
Eastern Championships is the first of four regional championships in the Digicel Grand Prix Series leading up to the Grand Prix Finale (the GC Foster Classics) on March 10, also at the National Stadium.
For the Grand Prix Series, athletes are placed in two age categories used by the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association. For the males (Class 1 athletes compete in one age category, while Class 2 and Class 3 athletes complete in the other age category) and for females (Class 1 and 2 compete in one age category and Class 3 and 4 in the other age category).
This means that only the fastest time in a Grand Prix event in each age category at each of the four regional meets automatically qualify for the Grand Finale. As a result, the four automatic winners in each of the 10 Digicel Grand Prix event from the four regional meets will be joined by the next four best to compete in the Grand Prix Finale.
In the Grand Prix 100-metre events, St Mary High's athletes accounted for two of the four automatic qualifying spots to the Grand Prix Finale. In addition the school had one-two finishes in the Girls' Class 2 and 3 sprints.
Sydonie McIntosh of St Mary High led the way in the sprint by shattering the Girls' Class 3 100-metre record. McIntosh powered home in a new record time of 12.11 seconds to erase the previous mark of 12.16 set in 2007 by Natasha Morrison, and in the process took the only automatic qualifying spot as the Class 4 winner Onica Wint from Titchfield, won in a slower time - 12.76
The other automatic qualifying spot for St Mary High came from Jamaelia Campbell, who won the Girls' Class 2 100 metres in 12.40, easily beating her teammate Monique Miller (12.64). Campbell advanced to the Digicel Grand Prix Finale as the Class 1 winner Latyoa Graham of Oberlin High clocked a slower time - 12.75.
In the Boys' 100-metre finals, Rogel Hamilton of Oberlin High won Class 1 in 10.98 seconds to pick up the Digicel Grand Prix automatic qualifying spot.
Buff Bay's Kaven Walton (11.43) took the other age group qualifying spot by winning the Boys' Class 2 100 metres in 11.43 as the Class 3 winner Garth McDermoth (11.84) of Morant Bay won in a slower time.
100-metre showdown at Eastern Champs
The Digicel Grand Prix series has attracted cash prizes.
One again, school teams (boys and girls) will vie for the title of Digicel Grand Prix champion and $1 million each towards gym equipment or development of their school’s training facilities.
There will also be an overall second and third place cash prizes of $500,000 and $200,000 respectively.
Record-breaking athletes at the Grand Prix Finale - the GC Foster Classics at the National Stadium on March 10 - will be rewarded with cash for their schools.
Digicel will pay $25,000 for each championship record and $50,000 for each national junior record.
In addition, Digicel will reward every athlete who qualifies to run at the Grand Prix Finale with $5,000 each for their school.
There will also be cash prizes for the top three finishers (boys and girls) at each of the four regional meets. First place is guaranteed $250,000, with second getting $100,000 and third place, $50,000.
Coaches will also be rewarded with cash prizes between $20,000 to $50,000.
This year, with SportsMax as the media production partners for all five meets, event content will be even more accessible for the public through live broadcasts and via the Play Go app for track enthusiasts on the go.
GRAND PRIX SERIES
Eastern Championships (February 12 – 13 at National Stadium)
Corporate Championships (February 15 – 16 at National Stadium)
Western Championships (February 13, 15 & 17 at Catherine Hall Sports Complex)
Central Championships (February 20 - 21 at GC Foster College)
Grand Prix Finale - GC Foster Classics - (March 10 at National Stadium)